While the Dow and the S&P remain stuck in the trading ranges that have prevailed for much of this year, the NASDAQ has been on a roll, breaking out to new all-time highs over the last several sessions.
This positive divergence appears to be due to the NASDAQ indices having a higher concentration in technology and momentum stocks and fewer defensive stocks compared with the Dow and the S&P 500. Because of this, the NASDAQ has benefitted even more from the risk-on flow of capital from defensive to aggressive stances over the last week with the crises in Greece and China subsiding.
Today and tomorrow could become a turning point for the index. After US exchanges close today, Apple, MicroSoft and Yahoo are all scheduled to report earnings. In the case of Apple the street is expecting earnings of $1.81 per share on sales of $49B, with stronger sales form its more established product lines expected to more than offset what looks to be a disappointing launch for the Apple Watch.
The reaction to results from these three companies and other major tech players set to report in the coming days could give an indication of whether the current NASDAQ is sustainable, or if it could fall back into line with its peers. We’re heading into the weakest time of the year seasonally for stocks and the reaction to this quarter’s earnings and guidance may indicate whether stocks remain vulnerable to seasonal influences. Trading this week may also tell us if indices are ready to advance again after several months of consolidation or if more digestion is needed with Fed interest rate liftoff apparently still due in the coming months
In other news, world stocks, commodities and currencies have been steady today in what may end up being a period of calm between storms. The initial market reaction to easing tensions and risks surrounding Greece, China, Iran and Cuba, appears to have run its course, with traders now trying to figure out where to go next.
China continues to make efforts to stabilize its economy and financial system, pouring $109B into “policy banks” like the China Development Bank and Export-Import Bank, which helped to support the Hang Seng and Nikkei
Greece has been quiet for the last few days but could come roaring right back as negotiations on a new bailout package ramp up. Press reports suggest creditors are looking for a new bailout deal by August 6th with the first round of funds needed by August 17th to make another ECB payment. Also a Greek Parliamentary vote on more reform measures is expected by tomorrow. As we have seen recently, deadlines can shift as long as progress is being made, but it appears that Greece is likely to remain in the news right through the summer setting the stage for elections in Spain and Portugal this fall.
IBM $3.84 vs street $3.79, maintains full year EPS guidance of $15.75 to $16.50 and modestly raised cash flow guidance
Harley-Davidson $1.44 vs street $1.39
Travelers $2.52 vs street $2.12
United Technologies $1.73 vs street $1.71, cut 2015 year EPS guidance to $6.45-$6.60 from $6.55-$6.85
Canadian National $1.15 vs street $1.05
Canadian Pacific $2.45 as expected, guides 2015 EPS to $10.00-$10.40 below street $10.44
Significant announcements released overnight include:
Hungary interest rate 0.15% cut to 1.35%, a 0.10% cut had been expected
Upcoming significant announcements include:
There are no major announcements scheduled for North America today.
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